Exercise and Wellness
Parkinson’s Body and Mind has developed a robust exercise and wellness program based in local YMCAs. These programs are run by instructors who have specific training in working with people with PD as well as training in their areas of expertise. Classes are open to all people with PD regardless of mobility level.
We provide a community that unites people with PD by providing trained instructors and physical therapists for therapeutic, safe exercise and wellness programs. This is a form of neuro rehabilitation that helps people with PD manage their symptoms while maintaining a positive attitude through community engagement and support.
Our support groups share promising research and provide networking to help navigate a Parkinson’s Disease diagnosis and live the best life possible with PD.
The pandemic helped us to expand our outreach nationally since we were able to meet on a weekly basis via Zoom and held pop up exercise classes including boxing, yoga and tai chi that provided a lifeline to many.
Our exercise and wellness programs are currently at the Greenwich, Westport/Weston and Fairfield YMCAs. At the YMCA of Greenwich, we are using a hybrid model with both in-person and Zoom classes. This allows people who feel uncomfortable with meeting in-person to participate. The Westport/Weston and Fairfield YMCAs currently have in-person classes, and the New Canaan YMCA hosts our Shaker’s Anonymous support group monthly. We are planning to expand to underserved communities such as Bridgeport CT.
Among the exercise classes that are currently available to members of our PD community are: boxing and conditioning for PD through Rock Steady Boxing, Tai Chi, Weight Circuit, Yoga, and Neuromuscular Integrative Action (NIA) Dance. Classes vary by location. We anticipate adding aqua aerobics, ballroom dancing, cycling and more. Classes vary by location, please click on the
link to your local YMCA for class schedule:
YMCA of Greenwich: https://www.greenwichymca.org/programs-services/parkinsons-body-mind-program/
Westport/Weston YMCA: https://westporty.org/programs-services/health-wellness/parkinsons/
Fairfield YMCA: https://cccymca.org/locations/fairfield/schedules/
We believe that mindfulness meditation is important for both people living with PD and their partners. We invited a local nonprofit organization, Community Mindfulness Project to lead a guided meditation at our monthly Zoom support group meeting. We are actively working to develop mindfulness meditation as an on-going component of our program.
I have been involved in many aspects of the Parkinson’s Body and Mind in Fairfield County for a number of years through the YMCA. It has been a godsend for me. The boxing, yoga and meditation programs have helped improve the management of my PD issues of balance, strength and flexibility. In addition, the energy and enthusiasm of both the instructors and participants is energizing and uplifting. It’s been great for my heart and soul.
John O’Donnell, Fairfield, CT